ANAHEIM, Calif. - From across the country, the Orioles had seen the headlines about the Anaheim Angels. They had heard about the remarkable turnaround that started in late April, and how it was a story of an offense that had finally hit its stride.
So the Orioles came West expecting a Disneyland thrill ride, and they wound up seeing something more like a rusty old swing set.
In the first 23 innings of the series, the Angels managed just one run. Orioles starter Travis Driskill kept them dormant last night until the seventh, and then the bullpen quieted the Angels for good.
Marty Cordova had three hits, and Driskill wound up with another road victory, as the Orioles defeated the Angels, 7-2, at Edison Field.
The Orioles took two of three games in the series, outscoring the Angels 10-3, and will begin a three-game series at Texas tonight before pausing for the All- Star break.
Driskill (6-1) labored all night but wound up holding the Angels to two runs on eight hits over six-plus innings. All six of Driskill's victories have come on the road, and all of them have followed an Orioles loss.
In Driskill's eight starts, the Orioles are 7-1.
The Angels' offensive woes actually began Sunday, as they went scoreless in the final six innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. A team that had started the season 6-14 before reeling off a string of 42 victories in 62 games had suddenly lost its spark.
A team that had clobbered Cleveland, 21-2, and the Chicago White Sox 19-0 found itself getting shut out 3-0 on Tuesday against Orioles starter Rodrigo Lopez before pulling out a 1-0 victory on Wednesday against Scott Erickson.
This time, the Orioles took a 5-0 lead into the seventh inning before the Angels finally showed signs of life. Scott Spiezio and Jorge Fabregas led off the inning with back-to-back singles, prompting Orioles manager Mike Hargrove to go to his bullpen. Yorkis Perez came in to face one batter, and Adam Kennedy hit a run-scoring single to right field.
For the Angels, that was just the second hit in 22 at-bats during the series with runners in scoring position.
Hargrove summoned Willis Roberts, who recorded three ground-ball outs to get out of the inning with the Orioles still leading 5-2.
The Orioles added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Buddy Groom retired all three batters he faced in the eighth, and Jorge Julio retired the side the ninth. So the final nine Angels batters made outs.
The Angels entered the game with one run in their previous 23 innings. They had eight hits in that span, and all of them were singles, a surprising change for a team that had a .279 batting average, matching the New York Yankees for the best in the majors.
Driskill was coming off his first disappointing start of the season. On Friday night, he gave up four home runs against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 6-2 loss.
Nothing came easy for Driskill in the early going, but he managed to keep Anaheim scoreless until the seventh. The Angels had at least one hit in each of the first five innings, but they were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
In the first two games of the series, the Angels were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and the lone hit was an infield chopper by Darin Erstad that brought home Wednesday's only run.
After getting beat 1-0 on Wednesday night, the Orioles showed a little life offensively against Angels starter Kevin Appier. They scored two runs in the second inning, on run-scoring singles by Marty Cordova and Mike Bordick.
Cordova entered the game riding a 2-for-24 slump, but he had hits in his first three at-bats, including a leadoff double in the fourth. Geronimo Gilscored Cordova with a single up the middle, giving the Orioles a 3-0 lead.
The Orioles expanded their lead in the seventh, when Gary Matthews hit a two-out, two-run double off Angels reliever Scott Schoeneweis. Both of those runs were charged to Appier, who has won just one of his past six decisions.
Appier (6-7) allowed five runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking two and striking out six.